When I cover the keys to health, the keys to recovery from a chronic condition or the keys to preventing a chronic condition I generally focus on 7 things:
So how much sleep is right for you? While this can certainly vary from person to person, and we need more during times of growth or stress, there are some guidelines.
In my scan of important articles (something I do every day) I stumbled on three – all addressing the sleep issue based on studies presented yesterday at the European Society of Cardiology.
The PESA study enrolled 3,974 healthy middle-aged adults and carefully tracked sleep quality and quantity.
Here is what they found:
The second study presented that in 1993, 50% of all men born in 1943 and living in Gothenburg were randomly selected to participate in a study. Of the 1,463 invited, 798 (55%) men agreed to take part. These men were followed for 21 years. Here is what they found:
The third study was a meta-analysis of 11 prospective studies of more than one million adults without cardiovascular disease published within the last five years. The researchers found:
So how do we make sure we are getting enough, quality sleep?
A regular routine of going to bed at about the same time each night is important. The 7 keys to health that I started with at the top of this article are important!
Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed, and avoid large meals or vigorous exercise right before bed. Having the room dark, cool and avoiding the blue lights of screens is important.
One important tool, I use, just hitting the market for the first time to monitor your sleep for both quality and duration is the Oura ring. I have found the data so helpful as I now know what my challenges are. The Oura ring tracks total sleep time, time in bed, resting heart rate and how much time you are awake, in REM, light or deep sleep. The app then makes recommendations for you based on your own data! This ring also tracks heart rate variability, a key measure of health, as well as your steps and calories burned.
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Dr. Paul Thomas
Dr. Paul Thomas is an award-winning Dartmouth-trained pediatrician with nearly 30 years of experience in pediatrics. In addition to being board certified in Pediatrics, he is an expert on addiction and board certified in Addiction Medicine. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health—from Pregnancy through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine 2016).
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